why do they dock australian shepherds tails

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Dear Lynn and other pro-tail aussie fanciers,
After 20 years of breeding, showing, and training aussies, I have decided to no longer dock my puppies tails. My reasons primarily come from watching my puppies experience pain during the procedure and for days afterwards; hunching their hindquarters and whimpering. I was especially interested to read the comment from the person who has had to adjust her puppies who have had their tails docked. This only lends more credence to the information given by the AVMA that dogs suffer with psycholgical and physiological damage as adults when their tails have been docked. The AVMA also states that puppies do experience pain; however, the pain is difficult to quantify. How much pain should we be allowed to inflict on our dogs for the pure vanityty of cute wiggle butts or what we re accustomed to.

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Psychological research proves that even artwork that is first not appreciated as beautiful, becomes pleasing to the beholder over time. If we can become accustomed to the pleasing affect of a dog without a tail, over time the same would happen to our sense of beauty regarding an aussie with a tail. I ve also never been impressed with people who say that burrs in their dog s tails are annoying. If you re annoyed with having to brush your dog s tail, then maybe having a dog is too much responsibility. How about shaving the dogs tails or whole body as a compromise! I have never heard of, or seen, a dog injure its tail while working cattle and 99% of people who own an aussie do not work them.

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It seems somewhat dull for us to justify a comprehensive amputation practice for so many dogs when so few dogs are truly effected. I was always disgusted by this practice, but ashamedly, gave in due to the peer pressure of the ASCA standard. My last two litters have been left as God created them. This is simply an outdated, cosmetic tradition that is cruel. Maybe it will take one courageous breeder at a time to end this inhumane practice, and believe me it does take courage when your breeder friends are not so friendly anymore. Breed Standards should be holy when they reflect and maintain the best interest of the breed. When they don t, it is up to us as the stewards of our beloved canine friends to step in and exult a better way.

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I currently have a gorgeous litter of puppies with tails if you are interested. Re: Docked Tails by: Anonymous You are correct. Some aussies are born with naturally docked tails and some are not. Tail docking on all breeds are done between 3-5 days old. By this time, they are strong enough, yet all the nerve endings etc are not fully developed. Yes, it may be painful at the moment of docking but only for a minute. It is done quickly with a little betadine, and a quick clip (some vets use nail clippers)and some skin glue. If one is to wait until after this time, most vets will consider this a tail amputation. This of course will require anesthesia, sutures and most likely pain medication as this is a VERY sensitive part of a dog!

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After this time, it becomes more painful for them, recovory time is prolonged and more than likely, a touchy subject for quite awhile. All of my pups had tails docked at 3 days. No further problems or complications. My stud dog got a lump on the end of his tail(nub) at about 6 years old. when removed he was in excruciating pain for almost 2 weeks. He also had a VERY high pain tolerance. In my opinion, if your puppy doesnt have a docked tail when days old,PLEASE,PLEASE do not do this to your dog unless it is a health concern!!! PS Now days, it is acceptable in many breeds to keep the tail. This is a personal choice. I hope this helps.

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